Indonesian NLP Startup Halosis Raises USD 1.2m

Halosis, a natural language processing (NLP)-based chatbot platform in Indonesia, received USD 1.2m in funding from angel investors in February 2019 at an undisclosed valuation. The Jakarta-based company plans to further raise a series A round in late 2019 or early 2020.

Two-year-old Halosis offers virtual assistant services to more than 3,000 of Indonesia’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); a sector that accounts for up to 40% of the USD 8bn in Indonesian e-commerce sales.

Hana, Halosis’ chatbot, receives and processes orders and performs stock management tasks in Bahasa Indonesia and English for its mainly female clientele. On the backend, it connects with various ancillary services such as messaging applications, courier partners, e-wallet applications, and banking to accommodate online transactions.

Localized for Indonesian e-commerce, Halosis has been building a termbase of words used frequently by buyers and sellers in about 10 major dialects of Indonesia. Andrew Darmadi, Halosis CEO and Co-founder, told Slator they developed an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot to automate the order-taking process. “We use text analytics, NLP, machine learning, and image recognition to serve our customers,” he said.

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Halosis was supported by Google Launchpad and IDX Incubator, a program by the Indonesian Stock Exchange to train and develop startups. Darmadi said the company aspires to be like Indian social e-commerce startup Meesho, which received an undisclosed amount of funding from Facebook in June 2019.NLP has been tagged by AI venture capitalists (VCs) as “incredibly vibrant.”

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In reports released in June 2019 on the state of AI, VCs predict that startups will apply recent breakthroughs from NLP research and collectively raise over USD 100m in the next 12 months. Multilingual chatbots like that of Halosis will corner a substantial share of the AI-NLP pie. PolyAI recently raised USD 12m to deploy conversational chatbots in contact centers.